Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu (C) meets Rohingya Muslim elders at Aung Mingalar in Sittwe, a Muslim quarter where residents are mostly Rohingya, located in western Myanmar’s Rakhine State. Cavusoglu’s visit coincided during Islam’s holy fasting month of Ramadan as thousands of persecuted Muslim minority Rohingya languish in several other displacement camps following bloody sectarian violence in 2012 between the Rohingya and Buddhist population in Rakhine State. Cavusoglu earlier met with Myanmar President Htin Kyaw and State Counsellor and Foreign Minister Aung San Suu Kyi in capital city Naypyidaw.
Suu Kyi’s party, the National League for Democracy (NLD), won a landslide victory in November elections, ushering in the country’s first civilian government after 54 years of direct and indirect military rule. Both the police and the judiciary are overseen by Myanmar’s Home Ministry, which remains under control of the military.
He also said that Turkey has provided $13 million in financial support to Myanmar in the form of humanitarian, education and medical assistance in the last four years.
Turkey has been closely following the situation faced by Muslims in Myanmar; specifically the Rohingyas, since 2012. The Turkish government had previously sent a navy ship to the coast off Thailand and Malaysia to carry humanitarian aid to the thousands of stranded Rohingyas.
After official visits to Myanmar, Çavuşoğlu will head to Sri Lanka and Afghanistan where he is expected to hold meetings with those countries’ foreign ministers.